Ceiling fans include ceiling fans used in homes as well as ceiling fans used in commercial and industrial spaces. Compared to residential ceiling fans, commercial and industrial ceiling fans either have larger diameters or the ability to spin at faster speeds.
Congress established the current standards for ceiling fans as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and they took effect in 2007. The standards are prescriptive requirements that require that ceiling fans have fan speed controls that are separate from lighting controls; the ability to change the speed; and a switch to reverse action of the fan blades (to match differing air circulation requirements for the heating and cooling seasons).
In 2017, DOE finalized the first efficiency performance standards for ceiling fans. The minimum energy efficiency levels are expressed as airflow delivered in cubic feet per minute (CFM) per unit of power consumption in watts (W). The new standards will take effect in 2020.
About 85 million US households use at least one ceiling fan, and a quarter of all households use four or more ceiling fans. The efficiency of ceiling fans can be improved by using more efficient motors and fan blades and by optimizing the fan design such as by adjusting the blade pitch.